The names on the Chart
The passengers and crew of the Zeemanshoop
Tuesday 14 - Wednesday 15 May 1940
was a Dutch lifeboat at Scheveningen, a coastal resort and fishing port
near The Hague, which was hijacked by four university students to
escape to England on the day they heard the broadcast announcement of
the surrender of Dutch forces.
The names of the 46 passengers and crew of the Zeemanshoop
were written on the back of a chart of the coast of the Netherlands during the voyage. The chart is now in the North Holland Archive
but has been widely reproduced and was on display at the reunion held
at Scheveningen on the anniversary of the voyage.
The last name on the list is that of Lou Meijers and since his is the
only name for which both initials are given he was probably the student
who wrote the list. Despite differences in spelling, the lack of
forenames and married
women being merely appended to the names of their husbands as vrouw
(wife) this chart has been the key to tracing the families of those who
escaped almost certain death in a concentration camp or if young, male
and Dutch joined the fight to free their country.
At least two are
alive today: Karel Dahmen is a fit 96 year old who lives in Austin,
Texas, and sculls on its lake with a crew of young women, and Loet
Velmans lives in the USA with his wife who survived the Holocaust to
write a best selling book about her experience. Marien de Jonge celebrated his hundreth birthday in
September 2011 but died at The Hague on the 16 July 2012.
Click on the links to find out what happened to them after their arrival in England.
"First voyage of the motor boat Zeemanshoop from Scheveningen to England. Departure Scheveningen Tuesday 14 May 1940 + or - 9".
This was before the
introduction of "daylight saving time" and would correspond to 10
the time when the sun set, the sky darkened and the Zeemanshoop could leave harbour unobserved.
I would like to hear from the families of the following passengers
(or Meyer) described by Harry Hack as a "Koopman (merchant) in London",
Meuleman and wife, Singer (assumed to be male), Van Wezel, three women and a man
with a name which has been variously interpreted as Von Arnheim /
Aruheim or Von Stroheim, and a man with a Czech name which may be P.
Zaitschek / Zaitichek / Zaitichik but more likely a mis-spelling of the
Czech name Zajíček (meaning in English, Bunny, a small rabbit).
Their names were recorded on the sea chart during
the voyage but they have not been traced and I would be grateful to
anybody who can identify them and provide further information.
"The list of names was then written on the back
of a sea
chart of the Netherlands ... " (Meijers) Click on the links to find out more about the lives of the 46 passengers and crew of the Zeemanshoop The chart in now in the regional archive of the department Noord-Holland in Haarlem
It was reproduced in a special issue of De Reddingboot issued in December 1972 on the "Adventures of the motor lifeboat Zeemanshoop"
And was exhibited at the reunion of the families on the 14 May 2015 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the voyage of the Zeemanshoop The sea chart was photographed by Dr Michelle Henning